It's not exactly beach reading, but it's not the Fourth of July anymore either. Congress is back from recess next week and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has his sights on reworking and then passing his party's health care bill. Here's the thing though: reading the bill's 142 pages is really tough unless you're an expert. So we called one. Then: President Trump tweeted Monday that gas prices are the lowest they've been in a decade and he'd like to see them go lower. Because facts matter: they're low, but not that low, and the full picture of what "cheap gas" means is a lot more complicated. Plus, for many people it's easier than ever to get by in this economy without carrying any currency. So what's the future of cash look like?
A Pew Research survey shows that positive attitudes toward the U.S. have declined from 64 percent approval during Barack Obama's presidency to 49 percent in 2017. President Trump as individual scored lower with the international community, 22 percent of people have confidence in him to do the right thing in international affairs. We'll talk about the USA brand and the upcoming G-20 summit as the President is faced with the news of a longer-range missile tests out of North Korea. Also on today's show: The business of making Spider-Man. Marketplace's Adriene Hill talks to the writers of the upcoming movie "Spider-Man: Homecoming."
We know, we know: It's the height of summer vacation, but sadly policy waits for no one. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has made school choice is a top priority, and charter schools are one pillar of that choice. But as charters become more popular, it's becoming apparent that the choice isn't be applied equally, and that's re-segregating some school districts. Plus, millions of students will head to college this fall, including an unknown number of undocumented students. Being a first generation college student is tough, but undocumented status complicates things on another level. We'll talk with a few students about what they're going through. Plus, the latest news from Tesla and just in time for the holiday weekend, a conversation with a professional grillmaster.
Today was the deadline for an Obama-ordered national security investigation into steel and aluminum imports. The Commerce Department missed it, thanks to what the administration called "unanticipated complexities." To paraphrase the President, who could have imagined running the world's largest economy could be so complicated? Then: It's the Friday before a holiday weekend, so what better time to revisit our series "Summer, Brought to You By" with an honest-to-god ice cream historian. Plus, Teslas, Volts, Leafs and the rest are almost commonplace on American roads now, so whats' the next frontier for electric vehicles? The bus lane.
No health care on the show today — and very little President Trump — just some good ol' fashion corporate news up top. The office supply store Staples, has agreed to be acquired for nearly $7 billion. If the private equity deal goes through, it'll be the biggest buyout of the year to date. But it's also been a grim year for retail; sales and profits at Staples have been dropping for years. So who's buying? And why? Then: We're talking about a lot of stress tests today, not just on the nation's big banks but on energy companies. Investors at Occidental Petroleum and Exxon Mobil voted last month for more transparency around climate change, and how it'll affect the bottom line. Plus: National Parkas and Forests make for popular camping spots over any summer, but that public campground might be privately run these days.
If you can't count on anything, it's that you can't count on Washington for anything right now. You've got inconsistent statements, intra-party squabbling, ambitious legislative goals with real policy differences and, oh yeah, a special prosecutor and a few Congressional investigations. The potential economic costs really start to add up. Plus: We're on day two of another high-profile ransomware attack that's hit a bunch of shipping companies, law firms and other businesses. We'll try to sort out what's going on. Then: How'd so many of us end up getting health care from employers? You've always wondered.